If you’re trying to burn fat and get in shape, you’ll never get results as fast as you can using one of the best ab workout machines. Machines provide resistance, which strengthens your workout to achieve faster and better results. We spent over twelve hours researching the best abdominal exercise equipment, opting for machines you can use at home, over those you can use at the gym, like the ab machines at Planet Fitness. We looked for machines that are suitable for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced. Also, we chose best-rated abdominal exercise equipment that offers a proven workout and will tone and strengthen your core muscles after repeated use.
Our top pick is the Star Uno Ab Squat Workout Machine because it’s not just effective but also quite versatile. You can use it to workout your core muscles, including your abs, but also your glutes, and more. The honorable mention is the Ab Doer 360 Total Core Exercise Kit because it’s so comprehensive. That even comes with an instructional DVD to get you started. Other notables include the N1Fit Ab Roller Wheel, Apex Utility Slant Bench, and Stealth Core Trainer Plankster. Keep reading to learn more about our top picks. You may also check our guide on other top-rated exercise equipment.
Top 7 Best Ab Machines
#1 Star Uno Ab Machine
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Star Uno Ab Squat Workout Machine is our top pick because it’s such a core system for working out both glutes and abs. It’s foldable for easy storage, even though it’s not portable.
- Great for glutes and abs
- Foldable for easy storage
- Includes exercise chart
- Bulky, so not portable
If you want to target your whole core, you’ll need to do multiple exercises and not just a few sets of crunches or sit-ups. That’s why the Star Uno Ab Squat Workout Machine is our top pick, it offers one of the most complete workout opportunities of anything on this list. Using the machine you do “soft squats,” while your body adds a layer of resistance to strengthen the workout. A handlebar offers added stability during your workouts, and the seat is height adjustable to match your body size.
Related: Looking for a great attire for your workouts? Check the best triathlete singlets.
While the machine is not portable — it weighs almost 20 pounds — you can fold it up nicely for easier storage. It also comes with a nifty exercise chart that offers some workout inspiration. Older folks may want to use the best recumbent bike for seniors however.
#2 Ab Doer 360 Total Core Ab Machine
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Ab Doer 360 Total Core Exercise Kit is the most comprehensive, because it includes the hardware, an instructional DVD and a motivational calendar. It’s great for all skill levels, including beginners and advanced.
Read Full Review: AB Doer 360 Review
- Complete core workout kit
- Includes instructional DVD and motivational calendar
- Suitable for all skill levels: Beginner to experienced
- Weighs over 30 pounds, not portable
If you like your exercises on the rails, the Ab Doer 360 Total Core Exercise Kit is right up your alley. It includes an instructional DVD, motivational calendar, and the hardware — all designed by motivational educator John Abdo. A quick start guide will even show you how to jump in and get moving. The machine is a dynamic seat, if you will, with a core support column and massage rollers, all meant to provide resistance during your routine. Doing exercises with the Ab Doer will tone your lower and upper abs, as well as your obliques.
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The Ab Doer is billed as a “portable gym” yet it’s not all that mobile, seeing as it weighs over 30 pounds. You won’t be bringing it with you back and forth to the office, but that’s not necessarily what it was developed for either. Everyone from beginner to experienced fitness enthusiasts will find this machine useful. The best body fat monitor will help you keep an eye on your fat as well.
#3 CAP Barbell Ab Machine
Award: BEST CONVENTIONAL
WHY WE LIKE IT: The CAP Barbell Ab Trainer is a more traditional ab crunch machine.It has a steel frame, padded sides and a headrest, which support your body during crunch and sit-upexercises. Plus, it’s lightweight at six pounds, so you can take it anywhere.
Read Full Review: Cap Barbell Review
- Simple yet effective core muscle toner
- Staple, ergonomic design
- Limited exercise opportunity
The design of CAP’s Barbell Ab Trainer is nothing new or revolutionary. Ab machines like it have been around for years now. It’s meant to support your body, and provide a little extra resistance as you do crunches, sit-ups and more. Unfortunately, that means you’re rather limited in what you can do with the machine. That said, if your routine is mostly sit ups, crunches and simple execises it’s a good choice and it’s incredibly easy to use and highly effective at toning your core muscles.
It only weighs 6 pounds, so even though the hardware is oddly shaped, it’s plenty portable. You could toss this thing into the back of a car or trunk and bring it along wherever you go. It’s an excellent solution if you only have a few minutes to spare each day and just want to dive right into your core workouts. Before working out, make sure your back is in shape. If not, the best posture corrector could help.
#4 N1Fit Ab Roller Wheel Ab Machine
Award: BEST PORTABLE
WHY WE LIKE IT: The N1FIT Ab Roller Wheel is hands down, the most portable. It’s easy to use, incredibly lightweight and doesn’t require much else.. It’s perfect for anyone, at any skill level, and provides ample resistance to tone and strengthen your core.
Read Full Review: N1Fit Ab Roller Review
- For all skills levels: Beginner to experienced
- Simple assembly, simple to use
- Not much variety in exercises
By far, the simplest machine of the bunch, the N1Fit Ab Roller Wheel is, as described, a wheel meant for abdominal muscle exercises. Ab rollers are a simple but effective exercise tool that strengthens your abdominal muscles and gradually improves your flexibility. You position the wheel in front of you while laying belly down and hold onto the handles on each side. The wheel is then used to roll forwards and backward, completing various exercises. The entire thing is super easy to assemble and just as easy to use. Even better, you can take it with you anywhere. It has slip resistance handles (hand grips), to prevent you from losing grip during use. A wider wheel is also designed to provide more stability, cutting down on wobbling during use.
The biggest drawback is that there aren’t as many options when choosing how to use the machine. For that reason, we recommend the N1Fit Ab Roller Wheel as a supplementary workout tool, or for when you need a quick fix. It’s an excellent addition to a total core workout system, but alone, you’ll only be able to do a couple of exercises. And remember to use the best lifting belt when lifting heavy objects.
#5 Apex Utility Slant Bench and Ab Machine
Award: BEST UNIVERSAL
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Apex Utility Slant Bench and Crunch Board is a universal workout bench that offers a lot of variety. You can work out your entire body, from your core to the upper body and legs. A heavy-duty steel frame means it’s durable but bulky, so it’s best for home gym use. All skill levels would enjoy the machine.
Read Full Review: Apex Strength Bench Review
- Excellent for all skill levels
- Workout more than just your core, including legs, upper body and more
- Heavy-duty steel frame supports up to 250 pounds
- Bulky and relatively heavy
Ab Benches are quite versatile, as you can use them for a wide variety of exercises and that’s true of Apex Utility’s Slant Bench, as well. This one, in particular, was designed for crunches and similar, inclined movements. It’s made of heavy-duty steel, with a high-density polyethylene covering. In other words, it’s durable and can withstand both heavyweight and lots of pressure, and the cover is more comfortable than laying directly on the steel frame. You can use the bench for other exercises like bench presses, leg and calf raises and more.
Because this is a steel bench, it’s not something you’re going to want to lug around, with a total weight of over 20 pounds. Plus, it’s quite bulky and would be difficult to set up in certain places, like a small office or sitting room. It’s best for a home gym. The sheer versatility means it could be used by anyone at any skill level, from beginner to experienced. Furthermore, it’s the best solution if you want more of a universal machine that allows you to workout much more than just your core muscles and obliques.
#6 Goplus Ab Machine
Award: MOST DURABLE
WHY WE LIKE IT: As a more durable alternative to CAP Barbell’s device, the Goplus Ab Fitness and Crunch Trainer is a traditional abdominal exercise machine. It has a steel frame, padded sides and a headrest to support sit-ups. By flipping it over, and using the side hanlds you can do upright push-ups. Plus, it’s lightweight. Anyone can use the device, no matter the skill level.
Read Full Review: Goplus Fitness Trainer Review
- Lightweight and portable
- Suitable for all skill levels
- Limited exercise opportunity
- Doesn’t fold up or collapse
The Goplus Ab Fitness and Crunch Trainer is a traditional abdominal exercise machine — like the CAP Barbell Ab Trainer — designed for crunches, sit-ups and the like. It’s a steel frame with foam padding and a headrest, meant to support your body and provide resistance during core abdominal exercises. It’s lightweight at 7.7 pounds, which means you can take it with you on trips, to your work, or wherever else you need to. The machine trains your core muscles including your upper and lower abs and your obliques. Most of the movements you’ll be doing are either traditional sit-ups or crunches or small variations of them, like positioning your body on its side and doing a sideways crunch.
The design doesn’t offer a lot of opportunity in regards to exercises and movements. Like many of the other machines, however, that’s fine if you’re only looking to spend a few minutes each day strengthening and toning your core. This machine is ideal for just about anyone, too, at any skill level. It’s also much more expensive than the CAP Barbell trainer, which has a near-identical design.
#7 Stealth Core Trainer Plankster Ab Machine
Award: BEST INTERACTIVE
WHY WE LIKE IT: The only “smart” exercise machine on the list, the Stealth Core Trainer Plankster merges planking with fun gamified features. During exercise, an app records your progress and compares your stats to worldwide leaderboards. You can also play games, one of which simulates hang-gliding. The Stealth Core is lightweight, portable, and incredibly easy to use. Anyone could tone their core with it.
Read Full Review: Stealth Plankster Core Trainer Interactive Review
- Play games and track stats while you workout
- Lightweight and portable
- Planking only; no other exercises
Just about everything has some digital or virtual experience tacked on these days. If that’s what you’re looking for in a workout machine, the Stealth Core Trainer Plankster is the one for you. It’s a “smart” ab machine, complete with a mobile companion app that offers fitness games to play while you exercise. The machine encourages planking, a movement that was all the rage some years ago where you prop yourself up using your arms, feet and abdominal muscles. The exercise strengthens core muscles like your upper abs, lower abs, and obliques, but it also strengthens your back muscles and legs — 29 muscles total. It will track daily progress, including personal stats and rank your activity using worldwide leaderboards. That adds a neat gaming element to your workouts. There’s no subscription required to use the service and the app is free on both Android and iOS.
The entire machine weighs less than 10 pounds so you could easily bring it with you anywhere, or use it at home. Furthermore, the experience is ideal for all skill levels but primarily tailored to beginner and intermediate users.
How We Decided
These are ab or core muscle machines we’re talking about, so the first thing we looked at was the movements or exercises the hardware promotes. Are those exercises genuinely suitable for strengthening and toning core muscles, abdominals in particular?
You’ll find that every machine on this list — when used consistently — will help you tone your muscles and build some knockout abs. That includes everything from the more simplistic N1Fit Ab Roller Wheel to the more versatile Ab Doer 360 Total Core Exercise Kit. Several of the machines even allow for multiple exercises and muscle group workouts, adding more value. The Apex Utility Slant Bench, for example, can be used to work out upper body muscles, legs, abdominals and much more.
The next major consideration was the skill level required to use the machine or complete various workouts. Every ab machine on this list can be used by anyone, regardless of skill level, from beginner to experienced. That was important because the gamut of fitness users will be looking for this kind of equipment, not just beginners and not just the more advanced users.
Finally, we considered portability and overall usage. Will you be using the equipment primarily in a home gym, or can you take it with you to the office, or on vacation? Everything on the list can certainly be used from home, with a few of the machines portable enough to take with you on trips or errands. The select few machines that are too heavy to bring elsewhere, were chosen for a particular reason that trumps the need to bring the equipment outside your home. For example, the Apex Utility Slant Bench is way too bulky to lug around, but it also offers complete freedom to do a wide variety of exercises and workouts. The tradeoff is worth it.
Ab workout machines that didn’t make our list but are worth taking a look at include the Perfect Fitness AB Carver Pro Roller, Ab Coaster PS500, the Core Max, and Ab Circle Pro. The Perfect Fitness AB Carver Pro Roller improves the effectiveness of ab exercises and helps to engage and strengthen muscles in the lower back, back chest, arms, and core. The Ab Circle Pro provides a cardio workout for your abs, hips, buttocks, and thighs.
If you’re interested in other exercise machines that work your core, look at Roman Chairs. Roman Chairs are designed to hyperextend and strengthen your lower back, but your entire core is positively impacted through the proper use of this equipment.
Best Ab Machine Buyer’s Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Construction and Durability
The first thing you’ll want to look at is the composition or material used to develop the machine. For something like the Goplus Ab and Fitness Crunch Trainer, it’s reasonable to assume hard plastic might warp or break after an extended period of use. That’s precisely why the machine is built out of steel. Look at how much pressure and the weight you’ll be subjecting the machine to, and consider what that might mean for its structure.
- Exercise Potential
Next, consider the versatility of the machine and how you will be using it. Most of the ab machines on the list are meant only for a select few movements or exercises, and they don’t offer much variety. That’s not an issue if you only have a few minutes each day to dedicate to your core exercises. However, if you want more variety, you’ll definitely want to go with something a little more open — like the Apex Utility Slant Bench.
- User Applications
Finally, think about the core audience for the device or machine you will be buying. Are you getting something your entire family can use? Are you looking for something for yourself and your spouse? Is it just for you? The Apex Utility Slant Bench is perfectly suitable for multiple users, and can even be used for a wide variety of exercises. Something like the Ab Doer 360 Total Core Kit is only going to apply to specific people and might be better suited for a single person.